Crafting in the Rain: October 2012
.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Better Mom Day 31: Love 'em

If you're new to the 31 day series, over 1200 bloggers have chosen a theme they want to write about every day in October ranging from food or fashion to faith or fabric.  See the whole list at The Nester.  I decided to focus on trying to be a better mom, and you can see my first post here.

Day 31: Love 'em

If you're still sticking around reading my posts, thank you!  I feel like most of what I did this month was reveal to you all my weaknesses and bad habits!  As October ends so does my 31 Days to Being a Better Mom--but not the journey.  My final thoughts are that I want to love my kids.  I want them to know that I love them.  I know that it comes out in actions: hopefully all the things I talked about all month.  And that I shouldn't be comparing myself to other moms because my kids don't want other moms.  They want me--and your kids want you.
Source

And here's a glimps of our Halloween.  By request, kids are a witch, a leopard, and a road :)







Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Better Mom Day 30: Patience

If you're new to the 31 day series, over 1200 bloggers have chosen a theme they want to write about every day in October ranging from food or fashion to faith or fabric.  See the whole list at The Nester.  I decided to focus on trying to be a better mom, and you can see my first post here.


Day 30: Patience 
If I just had more patience, lots of the other things I've worked on during the month would come a little easier.  But at the same time, it's hard to just say "Today I will be more patient."  It needs the specific choices of  "I will not yell, I will listen when my kids talk to me, I will provide learning opportunities and ways to keep them busy, I will treat them kindly."  Patience is the blanket attribute that makes all of those things possible.  

What do you think--which comes first?  Having patience, or doing all those other things?  Do they have to just come together?  How do you make sure you're being patient with your kids?



Monday, October 29, 2012

Better Mom Day 29: Don't Give Up

If you're new to the 31 day series, over 1200 bloggers have chosen a theme they want to write about every day in October ranging from food or fashion to faith or fabric.  See the whole list at The Nester.  I decided to focus on trying to be a better mom, and you can see my first post here.

Day 29: Don't give up?

Yesterday at 4pm I felt fine. By 6:00 it had all gone down hill as I was hit head on by this head cold.  I didn't sleep great and I feel crummy. Today I'm just trying to be *a* mom.



Sunday, October 28, 2012

Better Mom Day 28: Mom Time (and Our New Shed)

If you're new to the 31 day series, over 1200 bloggers have chosen a theme they want to write about every day in October ranging from food or fashion to faith or fabric.  See the whole list at The Nester.  I decided to focus on trying to be a better mom, and you can see my first post here.

Day 28: Mom Time
This "Mom Time" is not the same as last week when I talked about taking time for myself.  This is what the kids call it, because they get to spend time with mom.  I set a timer for 30 minutes and each kid gets my undivided attention for their 30 minutes.  Then the timer starts over and it's someone else's turn.

Today Asher and I made tunnels for his train set up (I cut holes out of Costco-sized cereal boxes)  Meagan and I made an origami goat and painted her nails, and Emily and I made an origami guinea pig...after looking at and discussing the other suggestions on her list she'd made.  We tried stringing macaroni first, but our noodles were just too small.  I may need to buy some larger ones just so I'm prepared for next time :)

And just for fun, why don't I show you all about our shed we built this summer that I never posted about.  This house didn't have a shed when we moved in.  In those 3 years, I've been able to park in the garage for about 3 months.  As soon as we'd clear out enough to pull in, we'd start another project in the house that would need work space in the garage, or new tools, or just a place to store things like new windows or toilets.


But we finally said this is the year!  My husband bought a book, read tons of stuff online, sketched out his own plan, made two trips to the lumber yard (and several more to Home Depot) for all the supplies.



We leveled, measured, cut, measured and cut some more, hammered, drilled, built trusses, raised walls (well, I helped with one--the others were all too heavy and we had to get help from other people) waited for it to stop raining, painted, and finally put the roof on.  The whole thing took weeks, but we did a lot of it ourselves, and that was really cool.

I finally touched up all the paint back in September, and finally took pictures of the end result.



It still needs a little work inside...some organizing.  But at least we have a dry place to store hay for our goats!





 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Better Mom Day 27: You're Human

If you're new to the 31 day series, over 1200 bloggers have chosen a theme they want to write about every day in October ranging from food or fashion to faith or fabric.  See the whole list at The Nester.  I decided to focus on trying to be a better mom, and you can see my first post here.

Day 27: Realize You're Human Too

I was going to have this topic close out the series on the last day... to remember that we're human, and we're going to make mistakes and handle things the wrong way sometimes with our kids, or just simply not be able to do everything we think we should all the time.



But then today just got busy, and while I think today went just fine, I didn't feel like I did anything "special" or "intentional" with my parenting.  So I got to the end of the day with nothing to post about.  

Which led me to remembering that I'm not perfect, and that being a mom is a process, a journey, and not something I can just check off my list.  And I've got something I'm planning to work on tomorrow :)


Friday, October 26, 2012

Better Mom Day 26: Do Something They Want

 If you're new to the 31 day series, over 1200 bloggers have chosen a theme they want to write about every day in October ranging from food or fashion to faith or fabric.  See the whole list at The Nester.  I decided to focus on trying to be a better mom, and you can see my first post here.

Day 26: Do something they want to do
It was 1 o'clock.  We'd just finished lunch.  The kitchen was finally clean.  Asher wanted to make play dough.  We made some last week so I knew we had all the ingredients for it (hooray for salt and cream of tartar in the bulk section of the grocery store)  

But I didn't want to make it.  I didn't want to wipe flour off of the counter and stove.  I didn't want to soak the pan in the sink after cooking playdough in it.  I didn't want to vacuum up all the little bits that always end up under the table.  But in all my inner protesting, I couldn't come up with a good reason ("well, it's not good but it's a reason" Movie anyone?)


So we made playdough.  He stood on a chair at the stove so we could stir together and he picked the two colors he wanted me to mix in.  We had a great time, and then the playdough kept him occupied at the table for quite a while.

Often I can't do exactly what the kids want right when they want itLack of supplies, money, time, whatever.  All the more reason for me to happily do the easy things they want.  I know they won't always want to make playdough or play trains or read books.  But they do now!

Sup?

I came across this sketch and challenge on the Silhouette blog and knew I wanted to take a stab at it.

Here's my version:



All paper: My Mind's Eye
Black tape: K and Co
Twine: Dollar Tree :)
It's a 4.25 square card, so it will still fit in my regular envelopes.
I also inked all the edges, since I'm a little obsessed with doing that.  

You can see other submissions on the Silhouette blog too.

Have a great weekend, finish those costumes, and carve some pumpkins.  



Thursday, October 25, 2012

Better Mom Day 25: Sympathy

If you're new to the 31 day series, over 1200 bloggers have chosen a theme they want to write about every day in October ranging from food or fashion to faith or fabric.  See the whole list at The Nester.  I decided to focus on trying to be a better mom, and you can see my first post here.

Day 25: Sympathy
In an effort to not let my kids be wimpy, or coddle them, I may have turned the switch too far and held back some sympathy.  Sure, I want my kids to be able to jump up, brush off their knees and get back to running, but they need to know their feelings are understood and ok.  When one of my kids comes home crying that the big kids on the bus stole their candy, they don't need a lecture about not showing off what they have, or not sitting in the back of the bus.  They need a hug, a shoulder to cry on, and to hear me say I'm so sorry that happened.  My real goal is for them to feel safe in sharing their feelings with me.  That way, when big stuff happens, they can talk to me.  What's the saying?  "To them it's always been big stuff."



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Better Mom Day 24: Cooking

If you're new to the 31 day series, over 1200 bloggers have chosen a theme they want to write about every day in October ranging from food or fashion to faith or fabric.  See the whole list at The Nester.  I decided to focus on trying to be a better mom, and you can see my first post here.

Day 24: Cooking

Here's a picture of my 8 year old helping me get ribs ready to go in the oven for dinner.  I didn't make her touch them, she probably wouldn't have :)  But she did great with the salt and pepper.  After this lesson, I don't expect her to be in charge of dinner from now on, but there are definitely lots of things I could be teaching her in the kitchen.  I'm trying to get my kids more involved in what we eat around here.  Partly so they'll be more interested in trying it, and partly so they can realize the work that really goes into what ends up on the table.  

A while ago I had the girls once a week each picking out a main dish, side and dessert, and then they'd help fix it.  I haven't done that in a while (it was easier in the summer when we were all home all day)  So I'm thinking it may reappear as a Sunday activity. The only rules are that it has to be a healthy main dish (something with meat or chicken, and not pizza :) and a vegetable or fruit side.

I feel like my kids are pretty picky eaters, but they will generally eat the bites we put on their plate so they can get more of what they want (more olives, another piece of bread, whatever)   What are your kids favorite meals?  Maybe we could try them around here too!



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Better Mom Day 23: Be Happy

If you're new to the 31 day series, over 1200 bloggers have chosen a theme they want to write about every day in October ranging from food or fashion to faith or fabric.  See the whole list at The Nester.  I decided to focus on trying to be a better mom, and you can see my first post here.

Day 23: Be Happy

Today's goal was simply to be happy.  If anyone were to ask me if I'm happy, I would respond with a convincing yes.  And it's true.  But I realize that I don't always act happy--and isn't happiness really in the way we act anyway?  I feel better when I'm acting happy, and I'm sure my kids would say they'd rather be around me when I'm happy.  I want them to know that I love being their mom...not that I think it's a drag.  I would love for my girls to grow up with the desire to be moms, and for my son to want to be a dad (you know...when they're old and married)  I won't be very convincing if I begrudgingly make my way through every day :)  Hopefully I was convincing today--and can keep it up!



Monday, October 22, 2012

Better Mom Day 22: Imagination

If you're new to the 31 day series, over 1200 bloggers have chosen a theme they want to write about every day in October ranging from food or fashion to faith or fabric.  See the whole list at The Nester.  I decided to focus on trying to be a better mom, and you can see my first post here.

Day 22: Imagination
It must be my old age...but my imagination has definitely seen better days.  My first choice of activity is generally not playing Littlest Pet Shop or cars.  Happily, my kids often play really well together, but I tried to make sure to play along with Asher and his train today as he was telling me all about the people riding it, and we got to be passengers too.  My next goal will be to actually increase my playing-attention-span, so that I'm not so quickly drawn to cleaning out the fridge.


And with Halloween just a week and a half away, if you find your self looking for some printables, you can see if these would be useful--maybe a matching game for the kids?



Sunday, October 21, 2012

Better Mom Day 21: Play Games with the Kids

If you're new to the 31 day series, over 1200 bloggers have chosen a theme they want to write about every day in October ranging from food or fashion to faith or fabric.  See the whole list at The Nester.  I decided to focus on trying to be a better mom, and you can see my first post here.

Day 21: Games
We've made it past the Candy Land stage and can actually play some different games!  A few weeks ago we all played Sorry and had a blast.  It reminded me that we have several games in our game closet that the girls will be able to understand at 8 and 6 years old.  Today I taught them how to play Mancala (and I played alone with Asher, just doing a counting game)  I definitely think this should be a Sunday tradition around here.

What are some games you like to play with your elementary school aged kids that we should have in our collection?



Saturday, October 20, 2012

Better Mom Day 20: Me Time

If you're new to the 31 day series, over 1200 bloggers have chosen a theme they want to write about every day in October ranging from food or fashion to faith or fabric.  See the whole list at The Nester.  I decided to focus on trying to be a better mom, and you can see my first post here.

Day 20: Take Some Me Time
I think this is one that's going to look different for every mom.  It could be a date with your husband, lunch with some friends, creating something, whatever.  Today I got to spend the morning at a church craft day and it was great.  I had fun, visited with some wonderful people and came home happy to see everyone.  I admit I could have done better at jumping right back into my mom-jobs, but kind of kept taking the rest of the day off.  Perhaps I tried to get in too much me-time today.  That can cause different problems :)  Guess I'm still looking for that balance!  

Any suggestions for your favorite way to take a little break and refresh?






Friday, October 19, 2012

Better Mom Day 19: Teach a Skill

If you're new to the 31 day series, over 1200 bloggers have chosen a theme they want to write about every day in October ranging from food or fashion to faith or fabric.  See the whole list at The Nester.  I decided to focus on trying to be a better mom, and you can see my first post here.

Day 19: Teach a Skill
Every time skate night comes up my kids ask if we can go. You know what I always say? No, we can't go, you don't know how to skate. Wait, what? Really? That's my reason? I know :)  

So I finally decided I should just take them-we made a girls night out of it, put on some costumes and laced up some skates. I haven't done that since college myself, but managed to not fall down at all, and the girls did awesome. By the end of the evening they'd let go of the wall, were skating with their friends, and were just laughing and getting back up when they fell.  I was actually really proud of them and we had a blast.  And it helped me remember that I don't have to be great at things to still be able to teach stuff to my kids.

I'd love to hear what kind of things would you like to teach your kids? Or a time they surprised you by how fast they picked something up?



Thursday, October 18, 2012

Better Mom Day 18: Use Humor

If you're new to the 31 day series, over 1200 bloggers have chosen a theme they want to write about every day in October ranging from food or fashion to faith or fabric.  See the whole list at The Nester.  I decided to focus on trying to be a better mom, and you can see my first post here.

Day 18: Use Humor
Man, I can't tell you how hard this is for me.  If I've gotten to the point where my patience is slipping, the last thing I was to be is funny.  I want to be firm, and right, and in charge.  My husband is the best at this.  He can come in and diffuse any situation by planning a trip to the moon or suggesting a trip to Home Depot for a new foot.  We call it Daddy Magic.  And I'm working on creating some of my own.

What tricks do you have for helping your kids (or your own) attitude shift with humor?



Chalkboard Cauldrons

If you didn't get a chance to see the instructions for these chalkboard cauldrons at Pretty Cute Party, here they are.  I know I'm a little biased, but I think they're totally cute, and you've still got time to put them together before the holiday.


You'll need:
Small glass bowls (I found these in the candle section at Michaels, the shape is perfect and they were just 99 cents each!)
Chalkboard spray paint
Ribbon
Chalk
Filling (candy, etc)


Start by spraying the bowls with chalkboard spray paint.  It does stick to the glass, but you'll want to make sure to do several very light coats instead of trying to cover it in just a couple.

Let it cure for 24 hours.  Rub chalk all over it and wipe clean.




Tie ribbon around the top of the bowl and add names.

Then fill with candy or even small little toys and set them out for your Halloween dinner.

How cool would these be with some dry ice bubbling some water, making smoke pour out!  (You'd just want to make sure that little kids didn't try to touch the dry ice)

These would also be great glued on top of small painted candlesticks to label goodies at a Halloween buffet.











Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Better Mom Day 17: Ask Their Advice

If you're new to the 31 day series, over 1200 bloggers have chosen a theme they want to write about every day in October ranging from food or fashion to faith or fabric.  See the whole list at The Nester.  I decided to focus on trying to be a better mom, and you can see my first post here.

Day 16: Ask Their Advice
Sometimes my kids just want to know that they're being heard.  And that I trust them to make good choices or have good ideas.  This evening my 8 year old has a little party to go to where she can wear a costume.  I've let her come up with the idea and how to make it, and I'll help her with the finishing touch tonight.  It's not something that will blaze trails across Pinterest, but she's excited about it, and that's what's important :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Better Mom Day 16: Reading (and Pool Noodle Stamped Pillowcases)


If you're new to the 31 day series, over 1200 bloggers have chosen a theme they want to write about every day in October ranging from food or fashion to faith or fabric.  See the whole list at The Nester.  I decided to focus on trying to be a better mom, and you can see my first post here.

Day 16: Reading
My kids have always loved reading, but now that the girls read all on their own, I don't sit down very often to read with them.  Today I made sure to read to Asher during the day, then after the girls came home from school I had them each pick out a book for me to read to them too.  It was great to just sit on the couch and have some down time with them.

For something fun today, check out my instructions for some pillowcases I helped the girls make earlier in the summer.  I used a pool noodle from the dollar store to make my stamps, but you could use anything--regular stamps, sponges, puff paint.


Using a serrated knife, cut a 3 inch section off your pool noodle.  Obviously if  you use the scalloped shape you'll get a flower, if it's plain round you'll get a circle.  I also made a round stamp by cutting a 2 inch section, and using scissors, carefully shaping a small part to be round.




Be sure to put a piece of cardboard inside the pillowcase so the paint doesn't bleed through to the other side.  Use a foam brush to apply paint to the bottom of your stamp (use fabric paint, or mix fabric medium into regular paint).



Place the stamp on the fabric, press firmly, and pull straight up. Repeat until you're satisfied with the pattern.  Let the paint dry (I always pull out my hair dryer at this point to speed it up) then do the other side.



My girls had a great time making their own pillowcases to take on vacation!  Hope you'll try it out and have fun creating with your kids!

 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Better Mom Day 15: Say Sorry

First, I have to send you over to Pretty Cute Party to see how I made these cool cauldrons.  Wendy invited me to guest post for her and of course I jumped at the chance.  

Then you can come back here and read about today's mom topic.

If you're new to the 31 day series, over 1200 bloggers have chosen a theme they want to write about every day in October ranging from food or fashion to faith or fabric.  See the whole list at The Nester.  I decided to focus on trying to be a better mom, and you can see my first post here.

Day 15: Say Sorry

Sometimes I really hate admitting I'm wrong, or even that I've made a little mistake.  I need to be quicker to apologize to my kids for misunderstandings or lack of patience.  Just this morning, as the kids were getting ready for school (but getting awfully distracted), two of them were playing some kind of game where they were trying to scare each other.  I came around the corner of the hallway and one of them jumped out, yelling.  Totally scared me and made me jump, and my reaction was to yell back.  We both ended up getting yelled and startled, and I realized it was not really intentional.  I said I was sorry, we shared a hug, and went on with the rest of the morning.  While my initial reaction could have been more level headed, I at least tried to fix it in the end.  

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Better Mom Day 14: Pray

If you're new to the 31 day series, over 1200 bloggers have chosen a theme they want to write about every day in October ranging from food or fashion to faith or fabric.  See the whole list at The Nester.  I decided to focus on trying to be a better mom, and you can see my first post here.

Day 14: Pray
It seems to me that parenting can be a pretty hard gig some times.  Wonderful, but hard (and we don't even have teenagers yet :)  It also seems that if your belief system includes any kind of higher power, then you ought to be taking advantage of that faith by bringing it into your parenting too.  

I believe that no matter your religion...or not...you have a right and privilege to include God in your parenting and pray for your children.  I haven't been doing this nearly as much as I could be, so I'll definitely be working on this more.  I've noticed the following things happen when I pray for and about my children:  I am more thankful for them, I am more patient, I am more in tune to their individual needs, and I more easily see them as God sees them.  

I'm not saying I think it's a fool proof way to smooth all things over in parenting, nor will it prevent any bad things from ever happening to my family.  But I do know that nothing bad comes from being closer to God and closer as a family.



Saturday, October 13, 2012

14 Halloween Window Ideas

Last week I posted for the lovely Vanessa at See Vanessa Craft about how I decorated my windows for Halloween.




I used:
Black posterboard (I bought 3 sheets from the dollar store at 69c each)

Better Mom Day 13: Get Messy

If you're new to the 31 day series, over 1200 bloggers have chosen a theme they want to write about every day in October ranging from food or fashion to faith or fabric.  See the whole list at The Nester.  I decided to focus on trying to be a better mom, and you can see my first post here.

Day 13: Get Messy

Today I busted out some shaving cream and food coloring and let the kids jump in. Well, not literally I guess.  They painted with q-tips first, and then the girls moved onto fingers and hands. 


Pin It

Asher wasn't really interested in touching the stuff. When they finished, I helped wash their hands with Dawn, and it did a pretty good job at getting most of the color off. I knew what we were getting into, and if their hands are a little gray/green for a couple of days I'm ok with it.




Friday, October 12, 2012

Better Mom Day 12: Computer Break

If you're new to the 31 day series, over 1200 bloggers have chosen a theme they want to write about every day in October ranging from food or fashion to faith or fabric.  See the whole list at The Nester.  I decided to focus on trying to be a better mom, and you can see my first post here.

Day 12: Computer Break
Today was a no school day for the kids, so I decided to turn it into a social-media free day for myself.  I couldn't turn off the internet all together (how else would I get the playdough recipe that we made this afternoon!) But I didn't hang out there.  I kind of missed it in the morning, but kept plenty busy (imagine that!) and then was really fine the rest of the day. It was nice not being glued to my email, instagram or Facebook.

These are the pretzel spider webs we made after lunch.

The M&Ms were the spiders, and then they each added a colored one for a poor trapped fly.